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Places to sell harness?

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  • Places to sell harness?

    Hi, the Smuckers harness I bought and asked about the fitting in my other thread is not going to work, so I'm wondering if any of you have good sites I can advertise it on?
    Is it best to put all the measurements in the ad, or just state that it is cob size and then send measurements when people ask? Which measurements are the most important ones for people to know? Do harness ever do well on E-Bay?

    Thanks, NJR
    Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

  • #2
    Places I look for harness stuff (in no particular order):
    • eBay
    • local driving club emailed ads
    • driving lists such as CD-L
    • word-of-mouth
    • craigslist farm-and-garden section
    I'd give measurements, especially when paying for the ad (eg. on ebay)
    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


    • #3
      Now yours looked quite a nice set of harness but it just didin't fit. So I presume you want to try to get the best price and invest in something that will fit.

      So places I would tend to suggest to get best price:

      Saddlers and harness makers who do part exchange
      local driving club
      driving trainers (who may well do swap shops)
      word of mouth and driving forums
      local equestrian centres notice boards
      local tack shops and feed store notice boards

      I'm thinking that the likes of ebay etc might get a sale but not necessarily reach your market directly or get the best price realised.

      I'd say "cob size". Anyone who has more than a passing interest will contact you for measurements and will know what they need to know more specifically.

      If you decide to give measurements you could be on for a 1,000 word advert...... Do you know for instance that there's 17 measurements on a bridle alone? 4 on a saddle?

      Remember you won't be the first person or the last whose bought a set of harness to find it's not right and never will be without spending a lot of money to get it altered.

      I'm fortunate in having the tools and equipment to do my own minor alterations and a good harness maker to do anything more substantial. (I had to have a set of britching made for my last own single horse full size set.) I'm fortunate in that I've a load of ponies and horses and even more harness and then bags of pieces of harness to cobble something together to fit anything and everything. It might not look pretty but I can always manage to get something to suit every single thing that ever turns up. I'm often slightly embarrassed to show photos when I'm training horses to driving photos because I've even had them with a bit of webbing harness on a leather set!

      Best thing in terms of buying a set is to try to find something that you absolutely know is going to be "near enough" because you've been able to try and fit it. I've never yet bought a set "off the peg" that hasn't had to have a lot of messing about to fit it and holes punched and straps cut etc etc. What you want to try to avoid though is getting something that is going to need huge adjustments everwhere to important parts or where you have to have a huge chunk of it altered.

      I've posted a picture to let you know the important places to measure your own horse to ensure a chance of a decent fit when you go to buy again .... or if indeed you do need to measure just the key parts for a prospective purchaser.

      If you want to know the absolute detail of every single bit to measure then I have that too but trust me, it's a lot of measurements.


      • #4
        I am looking at a used Smucker's right now that fit their 12.2 hand pony. My pony is 12.3 . The woman says I can send it back if it doesn't fit. Wouldn't it most likely fit if their pony is only an inch different in height. Or, is there that much difference in other body measurements that it might not? If I take those measurements above off of my pony ( I already have them) should she then be able to measure the harness at those points and give me a good idea?


        • #5
          There are two questions in this thread, one about selling harness (all of the suggestions made thus far are good ones), the other about buying harness. As to the measurements for selling: I'd give the full range available for each adjustable piece as well as the lengths of all nonadjustable pieces.

          I'm going to be very honest here: every set of used harness I have purchased, even quite beautiful expensive harness, has turned out to be disappointing in some regard: badly worn in key areas, inexpertly measured by the seller, in need of repair... Of course I have a friend who was GIVEN a beautiful set of harness with none of these issues, so there is obviously a large dram of luck involved!

          Sometimes new harness doesn't work out that well either. But if it has been purchased from a good seller who knows his/her stuff, chances are excellent that it will fit.

          One caveat: a couple of times on new harness I have found that the breeching -- a nonadjustable part -- is a bit short for the horse, with the tie-back rings not quite reaching the stifles. This is important and worth checking. Both times the horses in question happened to have remarkably round posteriors.

          Remember that one 12h3" pony can be very different in key measurements from another 12h3" pony!

          One other thing that I learned the hard way: always buy a kicking strap with your harness. Always.


          • #6
            I'm guessing for a few hundred more it's almost worth it to just order your harness new and they can mix and match the parts you do need for a good fit. I'm not sure about harness but his dressage bridle came up with all pony measurements except the browband which had to be HORSE size! The harness I'm looking at is basically new and she would allow me to pay for it in payments but I'm just afraid something on it won't fit correctly and then I'll end up spending more money that I could have gotten a new harness.

            As far as selling I don't think Ebay is a good route to go. Everyone on there is looking for a big bargain. I would try consigning it thru a harness shop even if you have to price it a little higher to get what you want for it and they handle all the measuring and such. When selling high end saddles I always had great luck selling thru Pelham Saddlery. I had one saddle that I tried for a year to sell locally and had no interest. Shipped it to Pelham and in a couple months it was sold.


            • #7
              It's entirely possible to buy an off the peg harness that is near enough and good enough but you tend to have to shop about a bit and find one that suits your horse. If you can get somewhere that allows you to try and buy then that's what I'd always recommend.

              I buy wholesale and often am asked to get sets of harness for customers whose horses I've been training. Even when I buy the same manufacturers brand and material for the same height of horse, I've had sets that come up different or fit one horse and not the other. Fortunately though I can normally juggle things about or get specific things adjusted or if it comes to it even a part manufacturered to order and that way still keep the price down and competitive compared to having to custom order.

              Britching and brow bands are the things that I end up nearly always having to swap about or get made.

              Makes no difference whether it's for a tiddly pony or a stonking great horse, for some reason they always seem to come up wrong when everything else fits.

              Also had to say that I've never owned a kicking strap. Neither can I remember when I last saw one other than on photos.

              I can't even think why I'd want one?!?


              • #8
                We had on rare occasions a feel good racehorse that would try to kick you out of the bike in the morning. My husband had one on hand for those occasions but that was about it.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks all...I'll get those measurements Thomas, and include them. I've advertised it a few places and someone said CD-L, but I'm not sure what that is? Combined Driving ?L?

                  Thanks, NJR
                  Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.


                  • #10
                    Hello, Thomas! I'm quite certain you would never need a kicking strap, but I have found them way too useful to do without.

                    It makes a spare trace hanger, for one thing.

                    I've only had one pony that kicked or bucked while put to -- the others are all too well mannered and/or well trained, but this one came to me with issues. Having seen how very effective the kicking strap was at preventing disaster, I decided never to be without one again. Costs little, no effort to use, easily removed for competition: insurance I can afford.

                    CD-L is the Combined Driving List, wonderful set of drivers from all disciplines. Very different from the forums in style and format.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MySparrow View Post
                      CD-L is the Combined Driving List, wonderful set of drivers from all disciplines. Very different from the forums in style and format.
                      Having been on the CD-L for a while, I STILL do not know for sure what the C stands for! Only Jayne the founder knows for sure and she won't tell.

                      I have heard many words used to fill in the title, with Carriage or Combined being the most common for C. However is some enthusiastic discussions I have heard Crazy put in that spot!!

                      Have to agree that height of pony is about the least important measurement for choosing a harness. Could be talking Hackney pony and Haflingers, big difference in girth and roundness of body parts! Measuring your animal, allows you to know what leeway the holes in harness will give in fitting him. Some "normal looking" animals have the MOST PECULIAR dimensions when you try to fit them. Certainly not anything you could know without a tape to be accurate.

                      I myself have laughed at generalized measuring for blankets, because my small horses were not even close to fitting the sizes specified by height. My 14H horse only wore a 72" blanket when she was a yearling, yet that is a common size given for a medium equine. She also wore a Cob/yearling size in halters/bridle, with the horse sized browband. Yet she girthed in at 78". Our really large 17H horses have to have short skirts on Western saddles, because they are all very short backed. Not one of them can wear the 36x36 saddle blanket for under a Western saddle, goes WAY back over the loin to top of their rumps. My blankets are about 31x31" so a little blanket shows around the edges of saddle skirts. Yet their sheet blankets are 84 or 86 inches long.

                      So use Thomas' measuring points, get your pony sized up, and keep the list handy for shopping. When the seller measures, have them go center hole to center hole, which gives you leeway to tighten or loosen each strap. Different vehicles may need traces in specific lengths. Our 2-wheel cart takes longer traces than the Marathon, 4-wheel type vehicles. Fancy vehicles have different ends than slots or snap shackles. Thank goodness for buckle-in breastcollars! Traces are cheaper for changing around, than complete breastcollars.

                      I know people who check out prospects and then measure them, to make sure new equine fits their harness and vehicles before purchases. They do NOT wish to be buying new tack or replacing vehicles they really like to drive.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nojacketrequired View Post
                        Thanks all...I'll get those measurements Thomas, and include them. I've advertised it a few places and someone said CD-L, but I'm not sure what that is? Combined Driving ?L?

                        Thanks, NJR
                        Could you send me the measurements and info when you get them. I'm think cob size is too large for him but the measurement would give me something to compare to and who knows MAYBE he is cob sized.

                        Also, could someone point me towards the CD-L


                        • #13
                          Officially CD-L is Carriage Driving List
                          although often times it becomes strictly Combined D-L
                          and I definitely agree with GH that CRAZY applies many times

                          Anyway, here are 2 different links for accessing the CD-L
                          You have to sign in
                          You can get as individual posts or as a digest ( and since you can sometimes get several digests a day - individual posts could be annoying)



                          near the top of the page there is a bar with buttons - on the far right is CD-L which includes specific info for joining etc

                          Carriage Driving has a classified section that is quiteinexpensive
                          You can also list items for sale on the CD-L BUT please remember to list your location with sale items


                          • #14
                            CD-L is the CARRIAGE Driving List because it is supposed to be about all forms of driving. Combined driving list comes from the fact that many are interested in that form of driving and so talk about it a lot.

                            You can find out about/sign up here


                            I do also say the local club newsletter can be a good place for sales and purchases of used tack. Likely to be more local and you are likely to be able to try the harness/cart on the horse to be sure it fits before buying.

                            As to kicking straps, I had never heard of one until the past few years, but they are now widely used. Same as gullet straps which are another good idea.

                            FYI if you haven't added a gullet strap to your bridle, its a thin strap with loops at either end (like a brow band, but thinner) which attaches your noseband to the throatlatch. Helps keep the bridle on should the horse rub (I know they aren't supposed to) or be one of those with small ears and thicker throat that manages to mysteriously pop the bridle off



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Drive NJ View Post
                              As to kicking straps, I had never heard of one until the past few years, but they are now widely used. Same as gullet straps which are another good idea.

                              FYI if you haven't added a gullet strap to your bridle, its a thin strap with loops at either end (like a brow band, but thinner) which attaches your noseband to the throatlatch. Helps keep the bridle on should the horse rub (I know they aren't supposed to) or be one of those with small ears and thicker throat that manages to mysteriously pop the bridle off

                              If a person feels like they need a kicking strap, use it. Better you put it on a 100 times and never need it, than have a horse in your lap because you didn't use the kicking strap. It has been around a long time, but as Drive NJ said, was not seen much out in Driving activities. Was considered a Training device, removed for out in public. Now, folks just leave them on for all outings. Not sure I would want to be driving a horse who "took a notion to kick" when upset after moving beyond the Green stage. Also not usable in our Multiples, no anchor points with a pole.

                              Gullet strap can be really handy on those baby-face horses, tiny heads with BITTY ears, heavy manes. They shake for a fly, and bridle slides right off no matter how tight you did it up.

                              Gullet strap might also be handy on REALLY sweaty horses. For Combined Driving, we braid our bridles back into the mane with a tie string. STILL have almost lost the bridle at one time or another. As big as our horses ears are, crown piece was barely on the tips when sweaty-slick and shaken at Vet Check or end of Marathon. Thank goodness and Bill Long for the braided in strings! I am thinking of adding a gullet strap to their bridles on our next marathon practice session, see how it works. That will be a while, getting the young horse just started.

                              A quickie gullet strap, could be a short leather curb strap, punch extra holes for tightening down. Just run the throatlatch thru one folded over end, fasten buckle and noseband thru the other folded end of curbstrap. You can tighten the curb strap under the jowls, to fit your own size horse. Curbstraps come with two keepers, help keep the folded strap neat in use. I would have a hard time finding a black curbstrap here, but for daily use, or to try one out, the curbstrap is an easy Gullet-Strap fix in any color.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                Gullet strap can be really handy on those baby-face horses, tiny heads with BITTY ears, heavy manes. They shake for a fly, and bridle slides right off no matter how tight you did it up.
                                I'm thinking I'm going to need one of those if tiny ears are a prerequisite. LOL


                                • #17
                                  Yup... good candidate for gullet strap. When we decided to get them we bought the commercial, adjustable type and found them too heavy and clunky. This strap isn't getting a huge amount of pressure so doesn't need to be thick and once you determine the right length we found having a custom strap made the right length with a loop at either end was inexpensive and more tidy than one with buckles. Since it lives on the bridle it really doesn't need to be adjustable.


                                  • #18
                                    IMO gullet straps are totally non essential and as such you don't need one providing you ensure you get a bridle that fits.

                                    You also need to appreciate that they do have disadvantages.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by nightmoves View Post

                                      As far as selling I don't think Ebay is a good route to go. Everyone on there is looking for a big bargain.
                                      I watch ebay for harness pretty carefully. Quality harness there rarely, if ever, goes cheap. If someone puts the name Smuckers in that ad, the amount that it goes for is usually between 85-95% that of what it was retail. I have seen it go for mare than what it was retail!

                                      Cheap harness, or no name harness or draft horse harness..that goes cheap on ebay.
                                      Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                                      • #20
                                        I've tried 3 times to sell my quality mini-horse harness on ebay. This was originally a $2000 harness, and I couldn't get my reserve of $400.